Why a Mortgage May Cost You More in 2014

Mortgages

Why a Mortgage May Cost You More in 2014

Why a Mortgage May Cost You More in 2014

The Federal Housing Administration recently announced a reduction in high-cost area loan limits. This reduction comes in accordance with the government’s ongoing effort to retreat from the housing market. Rewind the clock back to 2008, when financial markets were significantly depressed, the economy was on the verge of recession — enter the FHA as the new outlet... Read More

Debt Is Driving People to Shop With Cash

Personal Finance

Debt Is Driving People to Shop With Cash

Debt Is Driving People to Shop With Cash

The majority of Americans (56.4%) used cash for some of their holiday shopping last year, according to a survey of consumers conducted by Credit.com, and about 20% said they would use cash and debit cards more this year than they did in 2012. People use a variety of payment methods throughout the season for different... Read More

Help! I’m Breaking My Lease

Personal Finance

Help! I’m Breaking My Lease

Help! I’m Breaking My Lease

I have six months left on my lease (I live in D.C.), and I just have to move for personal reasons. I notified the landlord (an individual, not a corporation) two weeks ahead of time (not far enough, I know, but I was only sure about the move then). My rent covers until the end... Read More

5 Financial Tips That Can Lead You Astray

Personal Finance

5 Financial Tips That Can Lead You Astray

5 Financial Tips That Can Lead You Astray

Most of us tend to like cut-and-dry answers to our financial questions. How much house can I afford? There’s a rule of thumb for that. From the order you pay off your debt to the amount you should withdraw in retirement, there are a number of financial guidelines available to help you make better financial... Read More

10 Tips to Protect Your Identity As You Travel

Identity Theft

10 Tips to Protect Your Identity As You Travel

10 Tips to Protect Your Identity As You Travel

Identity theft doesn’t take a vacation—even when you do. As winter sets in, the bogus offers go out: Phishing emails that can unleash malware on your computer, so-called free vacations and prizes that require a credit card or Social Security number to claim, and low-cost vacation rentals that can lead to a quick gotcha. Let’s... Read More

Warren Bill Would End Employer Credit Checks

Credit Score

Warren Bill Would End Employer Credit Checks

Warren Bill Would End Employer Credit Checks

Senators introduced legislation Tuesday that would bar employers from requiring potential employees to share their credit reports as part of their job applications. The bill, called the Equal Employment for All Act, also prohibits employers from disqualifying candidates based on creditworthiness. In a news release about the bill, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) explained the motivation... Read More

Is the Swipe Fee Settlement Battle Really Over?

Credit Cards

Is the Swipe Fee Settlement Battle Really Over?

Is the Swipe Fee Settlement Battle Really Over?

Visa and MasterCard have agreed to pay $5.7 billion in a class-action settlement — believed to be the largest U.S. antitrust class action ever — regarding fees charged to merchants each time a customer uses a credit or debit card. Judge John Gleeson of the U.S. District Court in Brooklyn, N.Y., approved the settlement Dec.... Read More

Is a Peer-to-Peer Loan Right for Your Small Business?

Personal Finance

Is a Peer-to-Peer Loan Right for Your Small Business?

Is a Peer-to-Peer Loan Right for Your Small Business?

If you own a small business, it may come as no surprise that bank loans are tougher to come by. However, other avenues for small business financing are opening up. Last month, the largest peer-to-peer (P2P) lenders, Lending Club and Prosper, originated more than $280 million in loans. The increased popularity of P2P/online consumer lending... Read More

The Best Credit Cards in America for Hotel Rewards

Credit Cards

The Best Credit Cards in America for Hotel Rewards

The Best Credit Cards in America for Hotel Rewards

2013 has been a great year for hotels, as they have finally emerged from a prolonged period of depressed bookings and high vacancies. Now that these properties are filling up, several major hotel chains have started asking for more points for award nights, effectively devaluing the rewards earned by guests as well as users of... Read More

CFPB Sues Online Loan Servicer for Collecting Invalid Debts

Managing Debt

CFPB Sues Online Loan Servicer for Collecting Invalid Debts

CFPB Sues Online Loan Servicer for Collecting Invalid Debts

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced Monday a lawsuit against CashCall for illegal debt-collection actions, which include debiting consumer checking accounts for invalid loans. Such loans ranged between $850 and $10,000, carried interest rates from roughly 90% to as much as 343% and had terms up to several months long. The CFPB is suing California-based... Read More

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